31 Jul

Back in town

I picked up Eileen last night at 6:00. Her flight was actually on time. In fact, it was almost 20 minutes early. I got there a touch late cuz once you get to the airport, the problem of where to put your car is . . . well . . . a problem. So I parked.

I went in and couldn’t find the arrivals info, so I walked upstairs to look for the screens. There is was. Flight 4073 from Chicago, twenty minutes early. So I went back down to baggage claim and found Eileen walking out of the American Airlines Baggage Closet (as it’s technically known). I said something like, “welcome home,” and she said, “you’re twenty minutes late!”

“What’s wrong,” I asked. And she explained that her baggage wasn’t there. We’d have to return four hours later to pick it up. Good ol’ American Airlines; they’re so dependably crappy.

We’ll post more “cultural readjustment”/re-entry/”reverse culture shock” stories soon. Just a note to say that we’re alive and back in Wisconsin.

27 Jul

tuesday and wednesday

Yesterday I taught my last normal class. After class I went home and ate a quick lunch so that I would have as much time as possible in the afternoon. I had decided I would go up the telef�rico on Tuesday because although I was gonna have to go alone, it would probably be my last free chunk of time while I�m here. So around noon I headed up to the telef�rico grounds. The telef�rico is a ski lift (except not for skiing), up Pichincha. At the bottom of the lift is an amusement park, and tons of stores and restaurants. It�s the kind of commerical stuff that I usually aviod. I waited in line for a lift ticket up the volcano for about 2 hours. Then I had my ticket but I couldn�t get in line to actually go up for an hour or so. So I spent more time than I would have liked in the lower section. I passed the time by finding some grass and sun bathing the Eileen way (in 70 degree weather, wearing long sleeves and pants). When I finally got in line to go up, I found myself between about 4 little kids who were VERY excited and about 6 high school boys who were trying very hard to attract some other girls� attention. I wasn�t sure which group I was routing for to go up with. I ended up with the boys and a father. They weren�t that bad. And the view was more amazing than I had imagined. When we arrived at the top I was happy I had brought my fleece cuz it was windy and cold. I have lots of pictures of what it was like up there that I�ll post later, but I�m sure it won�t do it justice. There are lots of trails you can hike and I walked around for about two hours before I headed back down. Quito is at a pretty high altitude of about 9000 ft, but you are up so high on Pichincha that I had to take it pretty slow and I felt the change even though I�ve acclimated to Quito. All in all it was completely worth waiting in line for so long and I�d do it again if I ever had the opportunity.

Wednesday morning I had a review session with both of my classes. Tomorrow is their written exam and Friday is their oral exam. I can�t believe it�s almost over. Tomorrow I�m going out to lunch with my second class. They are mostly my age and possibly one of my favorite classes I�ve had, so I�m looking forward to being with them tomorrow.

26 Jul


Been getting the house arranged, roof planned, whatnot. The roofing starts tomorrow; today I need to go to Home Depot or an equivalent and order the materials. So far, I’ve been pretty successful avoiding stores and/or general interaction with strangers. My first time in the grocery store, I almost started whimpering. I can’t really explain why.

I’m also suffering from sticker shock. On Saturday, I was gonna work in the house until about 2:00 and then go to the sushi box for lunch. I walked down there, got into the restaurant, looked at the menu, and walked right out. A chicken teriyaki lunch (which doesn’t really even fill you up) costs $7.95!

Emily (Eileen’s taller bridesmaid) came back from Chile on Sunday. Yesterday, she called to say hi, and then came over to help out with the house a little. I ate dinner at the Whitesel’s last night. It was really comforting to talk with a friend who was experiencing the same sort of reverse culture shock.

Tember’s back at the house, helping out, but she’s bored. She’s suffering a little reverse culture shock herself.

25 Jul

the last monday

I taught my last monday class today! I had pretty pathetic attendance (about half the class came), but the last monday class is over. It only gets better from here.

Tember came home from camp yesterday. She called me from my parents house and said that camp is fun and that Tim took her to our house and it is kinda strange. She also tried to wiggle accross the phone but it�s hard to phone a wiggle.